The work which has to be accomplished in the last days is one of vast importance, and will call into action the energy, skill, talent, and ability of the Saints, so that it may roll forth with that glory and majesty described by the prophet [see Daniel 2:34–35; 44–45]; and will consequently require the concentration of the Saints, to accomplish works of such magnitude and grandeur. 1
George A. Smith
I have seen the same spirit operate in the midst of these mountains. I have seen individuals here who are filled with the spirit of contention—who are filled with the spirit of wickedness; I have heard them complain, murmur, and find fault, until, by and by, they conclude Brigham is wrong, the Church is wrong, and everything is wrong, and that they would go to California, and there stay until the great day, when the Prophet should come and set things right.
This spirit will in the end lead a man to destruction; and all that will preserve the Saints in the last days from the general destruction in the vortex of ruin to which the world is rushing, will be their unity with each other, their clinging with all their might, mind, and strength to the building up of this kingdom, and making it their only interest, that they may hang together as one; knowing the text we started on, that it is the Lord’s business to provide for His Saints. 2
Bruce R. McConkie
We see evil forces everywhere uniting to destroy the family, to ridicule morality and decency, to glorify all that is lewd and base. We see wars and plagues and pestilence. Nations rise and fall. Blood and carnage and death are everywhere. Gadianton robbers fill the judgment seats in many nations. An evil power seeks to overthrow the freedom of all nations and countries. Satan reigns in the hearts of men; it is the great day of his power.
But amid it all, the work of the Lord rolls on. The gospel is preached and the witness is born. The elect of God forsake the traditions of their fathers and the ways of the world. The kingdom grows and prospers, for the Lord is with his people.
Amid it all, there are revelations and visions and prophecies. There are gifts and signs and miracles. There is a rich outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God.
Amid it all believing souls are born again, their souls are sanctified by the power of the Spirit, and they prepare themselves to dwell with God and Christ and holy beings in the eternal kingdom.
Is it any wonder that we both rejoice and tremble at what lies ahead?
Truly the world is and will be in commotion, but the Zion of God will be unmoved. The wicked and ungodly shall be swept from the Church, and the little stone will continue to grow until it fills the whole earth.
The way ahead is dark and dreary and dreadful. There will yet be martyrs; the doors in Carthage shall again enclose the innocent. We have not been promised that the trials and evils of the world will entirely pass us by.
If we, as a people, keep the commandments of God; if we take the side of the Church on all issues, both religious and political; if we take the Holy Spirit for our guide; if we give heed to the words of the apostles and prophets who minister among us—then, from an eternal standpoint, all things will work together for our good.
Our view of the future shall be undimmed, and, whether in life or in death, we shall see our blessed Lord return to reign on earth. We shall see the New Jerusalem coming down from God in heaven to join with the Holy City we have built. We shall mingle with those of Enoch’s city while together we worship and serve the Lord forever.
And so, as we view the endless course ahead, the glory and wonder on each succeeding peak seems to swallow up the shadows and sorrows in the valleys below.
With our souls attuned to the infinite, we seem to hear a heavenly choir whose celestial strains resound through the mountains of Israel.3
Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 4:185–86
Bruce R. McConkie, The Coming Tests and Trials and Glory, LDS General Conference April 1980; https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1980/04/the-coming-tests-and-trials-and-glory?lang=eng